Since the recession, employers have understood that even the most qualified candidates may have gaps in their work histories. Those times can seem like gaping holes, but there are ways to explain them legitimately in an interview.
Be ready to explain it.
It’s up to you as a candidate to be prepared for when a potential employer asks about it. They want to know why you have a period of non-work time on your resume between assignments, and you need to have a valid reason ready. You may have lost your job due to downsizing, an assignment may have ended early, you had to take care of a sick family member, you took time off to travel…no matter the explanation, don’t try to hide it, even if it’s negative. Your future employer will see that you acknowledged it honestly and didn’t try to dodge the fact that it happened and appreciate your forthrightness. P.S. Don’t just blame the economy. Be specific and…
Keep it positive.
You may have left because you couldn’t stand your employer/the company policies. Again, without attempting to hide or fabricate, you could say something such as, “I realized I could better use my skills elsewhere, so I left to find a position where I could do that at a company more like yours.” Keep the focus on what you did during your time away from work–perhaps you volunteered, learned a new marketable skill, or the like. And never lie. Employers want to hear that you did more during your gap than simply look for other work.
Attend to details.
If you lost your last job through no fault of your own, make sure you have terrific references from your previous employer. Talk about what you did at your last job that made you a great employee and how you can use those skills at this job. You may also want to consider a resume that’s not chronological but more skills-based. Some employers do see this as a red flag for recurring unemployment, so you may also want to consider listing your positions in terms of years (e.g., “Sales Manager at X Company, 2009 – 2011”) at the bottom.
A gap in a resume doesn’t have to look bad if you know how to make yourself look good. Use your time in between jobs well and show an employer that time away from work was used productively. For job opportunities in Akron, visit PrideStaff.